The New York Times, March 7, 2018
Major Traveling Exhibition Opening October 2018 Offers Expansive New Vision of American Art History through the Lens of Ecology and Environmental History
MAJOR TRAVELING EXHIBITION OPENING OCT. 2018 OFFERS EXPANSIVE NEW VISION OF AMERICAN ART HISTORY THROUGH THE LENS OF ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
Exhibition: Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment
Dates: Oct. 13, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019
Venue: Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey, USA (see below for subsequent venue information)
Reframing more than three centuries of artistic practice in North America, Nature’s Nation offers an expansive new understanding of American art from the Colonial period to the present and will address urgent global questions about ecology, environmental justice and the contested meaning of nature. The first comprehensive ecocritical study of art history, the exhibition examines how artists have reflected and shaped environmental understanding while contributing to the emergence of a global ecological consciousness. This pioneering exhibition will gather approximately 125 works of American art—including rare and seldom exhibited works, as well as iconic masterpieces, by diverse artists—and interpret them through an interdisciplinary lens that unites art and environmental history with scientific analysis and the emerging field of ecocriticism.
Nature’s Nation will consist of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs and works of decorative art gathered from more than seventy eminent collections across the United States as well as from Princeton’s own extensive holdings. It will be arranged in three chronological eras marked by increasing artistic awareness of environmental change and of human agency as a factor within it.
Karl Kusserow, John Wilmerding Curator of American Art, Princeton University Art Museum and Alan C. Braddock, Ralph H. Wark Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies, College of William and Mary
Princeton University Art Museum
A 400-page catalogue published by the Princeton University Art Museum and distributed by Yale University Press, accompanies the exhibition. In addition to a book-length narrative essay by the curators, the catalogue features contributions by fourteen distinguished scholars and artists in a range of fields, including art historians Rachael DeLue and Robin Kelsey, artists Mark Dion and Theaster Gates, and environmental theorists Timothy Morton and Rob Nixon.
After its premiere at Princeton, the exhibition travels to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts (Feb. 2–May 5, 2019) and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (May 25–Sep. 9, 2019).
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